Two days in a row now I’ve had 5pm appointments in dear old Westboro…or Hintonburg, or whichever part of town they’re calling it now (anything but Mechanicsville, I suppose). Both involved le theatre, because I’m a classy muckity-muck like that. So, when I finally scraped some of the sweat from my eight hour weekend brunch shifts off of my gangly self, I hotfooted it across town…Saturday, I had a meeting with one Kim Pinard at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, for an interview about joining their volunteer program. Kim, sadly, couldn’t make it as a result of a pressing situation described to me as ‘dog issues’.
Instead I chatted with her assistant Layne, the red-headiest girl I ever done seen. She was terrific, and everything about the program sounds just fine, and…well, that’s it really. At least until the end of August when orientation happens for volunteers, before the start of the 2010/11 season (which, by the way, looks fantastic to me, but more on that another day)
Still…cool, right? After all my years of thinking theatre involvement was for squares and geeks, I finally find out that I’M a square and a geek! Theatre involvement, here I come!
Not that I’ll be doing anything but tearing tickets and sniping the occasional heckler from ambush, but anything to be part of the experience, yeah? Which goes nowhere to explaining why I refuse to volunteer for my beloved Fringe Festival, of course, but there’s a simple reason for that. I want to see EVERYTHING. Volunteering at the GCTC still leaves me time to see all of THEIR shows.
Which leads me to my Sunday appointment, this time at the abode of my platonic galpal, henceforth known as the Crystalline Entity. I joined her and my galpal proper (we get to hug and kiss and everything!) Jammy for a cultured evening of wine, food, wine, some more wine, dessert, wine, sitting, wine…shit, is THAT the time? Are you OK to drive? And then…au theatre!
Seems the Crystalline Entity had gotten Jammy and I into the dress rehearsal performance of HEROES, the GCTC’s final production of the 2009/10 season, and we were all over that business. We made it to the Oiving Greenboig just in the nick, and settled in quick, where I immediately realized I’d drank too much wine and was going to be drowsing/hallucinating a little bit during this show. Which is all right, of course, just not necessarily what I’d planned for the evening.
Not that HEROES had any trouble keeping me awake, once it got going. Directed by Lise Ann Johnson (also the GCTC’s supreme commander…that’s her title, right?) and written by French playwright Gerard Sibleyras (translated by Tom Stoppard), the story is of a dysfunctional trio (quartet?) of WWI vets in France, 1959, in various states of desire to escape the ennui of the care facility they find themselves stuck in. It’s a goddamned funny piece, and the lads are ALL spot on. Peter Froehlich plays sensible Henri, the eldest of the gang, constantly poking awake Paul Rainville’s Phillipe ( ever passing out from decades-old shrapnel in his noodle…Rainville really kills it in this one). The relative newcomer to the coot revue is John Koensgen as Gustave, a dedicated curmudgeon who dislikes every month of the year and strives to keep to himself, despite being the spryest of the lot.
A lot of comedic ground is covered, and in between reflections on sexual adventures old and imagined, and various paranoid ravings about the head nurse, a bizarre plot to escape is hatched, debated, rehatched, bogged down,…and I did this bit already. Sorry, wine. It’s a really funny play, all right? Me, Jammy and the Crystalline Entity all dug the Hell out of it. Go see it and ya won’t be disappointed. It’s three (four?) Gentlemen vets, waxing worldly and cracking wise.
So I think I made a pretty good crack at the GCTC’s 09/10 season, especially considering it was my first time ever going to that theatre. SYRINGA TREE, BASH’D, BLOOD CLAAT, and now this’un, and loved them all. Now to see if I can top that next year.
Not to mention the other productions going on, from different companies…everyone got their AIRPORT SECURITY tix? I know I do (see y’all on Wednesday, if you’re there). And what did I see in the lobby tonite, but a promo flyer for a new Alan Shain show, TIME TO PUT MY SOCKS ON, coming this July. That’s some sweet potatoes right there.
Oh, and if you DO see this show? Easy on the wine, because a drowsy/hallucinatory state can make the ending to this one just a BIT of a shocker (not a spoiler!). Please remember kids, don’t drink and review.
See you at Airport Security,
PS Thanks to FamousActressNancyKenny for face-saving name corrections in this entry. I am helpless on my own.